Asia's growth key to Australia's future

RAPID growth in Asia, particularly in China’s burgeoning middle class, will ensure Australia’s resources boom continues to flourish, says Revenue Group executive director Rob Heferen.
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Lauren Barrett

Talking at the AMEC Convention in Perth today, Heferen said Asia’s economy was growing at a rapid pace, which sat in stark contrast to slowing growth in some of the developed countries since the global financial crisis hit in 2009.

With the amount of “middle class” consumers in Asia tipped to grow to about 1.7 billion by the end of the decade, Heferen said this new dynamic would provide opportunities for all of Australia’s major sectors because of the increase in the amount of disposable income expected to become available.

“The rise of Asia provides tremendous opportunities for businesses in and outside of the resources sector,” Heferen said.

“These people want better services and goods and open up a massive market for Australian exports, including manufacturing, tourism and commodities.”

While Heferen was quick to point out that he was not suggesting China and India would enjoy uninterrupted growth, he said these countries were well positioned to weather Europe’s economic downturn.

Heferen said Australia’s current situation was made up of booms in prices, investment, and production and exports.

With an expected $A260 billion worth of resource projects in the pipeline or ready to commence, Heferen said the situation was far more resilient than it had been during the GFC and would greatly benefit the economy.

“There’s no doubt that these projects coming on line will significantly boost our export capacity,” he said.

During his talk, Heferen made note of the two-speed economy gripping the nation, which had led to a decline in the manufacturing industry, and reiterated that a slowdown in the sector was not a new phenomenon.

This article first appeared in ILN's sister publication

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